No half-forgotten dreams nor pebbles in my shoes (that's for all you Tom Waits fans out there), this post is an homage to the holiday of St. Valentine's, a day for lovers to celebrate love in all its many splendored glory.
Of course, there are many kinds of love: romantic love, platonic love, familial love, the love of a mother for her child, the love of a student for her teacher, the love between two toddlers on a swingset or two teenagers at sleepaway camp, cat love, dog love, God love, gay love, starcrossed love, unrequited love, unrelenting love, the love of a preacher/rabbi/imam for his church/shul/mosque, overwhelming love, overreaching love, love against the odds, love is all we need, Mariah Carey's Vision of Love and Bob Marley's One Love, erotic love, free love, love at first sight, and (take it or leave it) polyamorous love.
Since I'm already feeling all loved up at home with my mama (Carla) love and my paka (Drogo) love, this post is about my newest love, a little girl named Sadia who stole my heart this past week while I was observing the teachers assess the 2016 cohorts for the third and final time.
Because Angi had been concerned about the normative quality of the testing last year as well as the data entry, I tried to take appropriate measures to cut down where mistakes could be made. Thus, rather than pay full attention to how the kids were testing or helping to test them myself, I set myself the task of carefully watching each Toa teacher as she assessed each child to make sure they were following protocol.
Since this is ultimate test for the 2016 kids, I deemed it a good opportunity for our teachers to get their practice on, in preparation for the 2017 group who we will start assessing in about a week or so. Since that will be MAYHEM (no love lost for that task there), I figured why not make sure we are all in fighting shape before getting back into the ring....?
In this short clip from observing Teacher Glory with Sadia, I experienced a very sweet love. A heartwarming love for Glory whose kind nature shown through as she tested the blushing and beautiful Sadia. And a tender and maternal love for Sadia herself, for having come so far from her first assessment and for allowing herself to relax and smile and have fun now completing her third. Even though she shakes her head at Glory's tease, "You're happy, huh?" it's clear she is. And really, who doesn't love a happy kid? (Probably a lot of jackholes in Congress right now, but take the phrase as rhetorical before the warm fuzzies wear off....)
So from our hearts to yours, Team Toa wishes everyone a happy Valentine's Day and reminds you that, as bleak as the world may seem just now, love actually is all around. (Thank you, Hugh Grant.)
Stakeholders were optimistic that her appointment would bring positive change in the sector that over the years has been facing numerous challenges, particularly in the quality of education and addressing teachers' woes.
As the year 2016 wound up, a lot has happened in Professor Ndalichako's docket, some of
which she has been praised for and some she has been criticized for by
education stakeholders and experts.
Her statements and decisions in the last twelve months have been a source of hot and endless debates.
GPA System Ditched
On January 20th while
in Dodoma, Professor Ndalichako announced that Tanzania would stop using the grade point
average (GPA) system to grade candidates in national Form Four and Six
examinations. She directed the National Examinations Council of
Tanzania (NECTA) to immediately revert to the division system, which was
abolished in 2014.
Her decision to
restore the old system was made after NECTA had failed to convince her
on the advantages of the GPA system over the division system they
said that NECTA had switched following
recommendations by stakeholders. "However, we are not told who these
stakeholders were: how many were they, where did they meet, and what
exactly did they suggest. It shows that this is just an excuse."
"Yes, we need
change, but change should be informed and backed by scientific grounds. If change doesn't conform to these tenets, then it is undesirable," Professor
The decision to
introduce the GPA grading system almost cost NECTA Executive Director,
Dr. Charles Msonde, his job, two weeks before the Minister decided to
decision to stop the use of GPA in grading was well-received by
education stakeholders and experts, who said the system was
unjustifiable and would affect efforts being made to achieve the goal of
700 UDOM Students Expelled
In May, Professor
Ndalichako announced the expulsion of 782 students who were pursuing a
special diploma in science education at the University of Dodoma.
The move followed
reports that lecturers instructing them in their program had boycotted
after the government had disagreed with them regarding their
decision raised public concern over the fate of the students who were
given 72 hours to leave the campus premises.
Members of Parliament,
lecturers, and education experts expressed grave concern on the way the
Minister had handled the matter.
A few weeks later,
fresh details emerged on the true cause of the expulsion of the students
when President John Magufuli addressed the University of Dar es Salaam
(UDSM) community on June 3rd.
gathering that preliminary findings showed that the majority of UDOM
students who were admitted to pursue a special Diploma in Science
(Education) lacked pre-entry qualifications, with some them achieving as
low as Division Four in their national Form Four results.